The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California is preparing for the 14th installment of a jamboree that draws an eclectic group of attendees – ranging from passionate music lovers drawn by the expansive nature of the performers, to weekend warriors looking to get punch-drunk from dehydration and French kisses with Molly. Known for the triple-digit temperatures and a sartorial sense seemingly more appropriate for picnic tables to wear at 4th of July pie eating contests, Coachella continues to be the benchmark for a concert-going environment and experience. Yet, one usually hears more horror stories about porta potties fighting back or creepy mustaches than actual descriptors indicating that a person would ever return to the desert. I’m reminded of a quote by the good doctor, Hunter S. Thompson, when I think of attending Coachella: “Kill the body and the head will die.” No longer does a person need to actually attend the festival in order to actually experience it.
Thanks to a little something called YouTube, people interested in the sheer musicality associated with Coachella can stream the entire weekend via Coachella’s YouTube page. Sure, it’s not quite the same as standing shoulder to shoulder with a man in an extra schmedium T-shirt and a girl with glow stick dreadlocks, but being an armchair quarterback is a lot better than braving 100-degree temperatures. Let the gumps “make memories” in the desert while you make paninis on your George Foreman grill at home. Hold the Molly, extra mustard, please.
Part of the appeal of attending a monstrosity like Coachella (Rihanna echo) is that a person doesn’t have to commit to one artist, genre or parcel of land inhibited by folks who look like they’ve come out of central casting for The Walking Dead. Rather, the event boasts six different stages peppered throughout the venue. While this all sounds good and well, be warned that it isn’t as simple as just showing up and getting your swerve on. You’re dealing with organizational skills that feature these two gems on their official website:
“Don’t buy passes from a 3rd party/scalper. for realz”
I understand Coachella is dealing with a different customer base than say a Fortune 500 company, but a self-aware person has to notice that they’re catering to a crowd that can only comprehend directions if they’re amended with shorthand and misspelled words that would make for a good Doritos campaign slogan.
Then there’s the matter of their instructions on how to “put on” those festival bracelets. Obviously there’s been such a commotion regarding people not being able to wrap their minds around how to wrap a plastic orb around one’s wrist that they were forced to create a pictorial. This isn’t the place or people you want to be around. Enjoy some select tunes from the various headliners/performers from the comfort of your own home and if you feel down in the dumps that you’re not “in the mix,” you can always slip yourself a rufie and have at yourself.
Here’s the conundrum. You’ve been waiting for months now to finally pull out that v-neck T-shirt that has such a plunging neckline that it appears like your bellybutton is throwing up gang signs. For ladies, they inevitably have something planned in the headwear department that has feathers, glows in the dark, and is perfect for holding their hair back when the upchuck percolates from belly to lips. Yet, we’ve explicitly warned you that attending Coachella is on that rare bucket list of things not to do. Let your fashion-freak-flag fly all you want – go ahead, we’re waiting for you to shimmy into some fluorescent nut-huggers with ironic phrase on the thighs – but it’s wise to remember that in a sea of atypical species, you’d hardly make fashion waves. Coachella has become a fashion spectacle where “being yourself” is new uniform for the masses.